Lana Del Rabies draws out the darkness of MXMS' "Gravedigger" in an ominous new remix!



La funeral pop duo MXMS have always been about duality. It's implied in their genre name itself - accessible and entertaining, yet doused in darkness and seeped in melancholy. Ariel Levitan and Jeremy Dawson - the musicians behind MXMS, which stands for Me And My Shadow - make music for dancing your pain away, whether that's in a fog machine-doused night club or on freshly dug graves.

Nowhere is this more explicit than on "Gravedigger," an ode to the obsessive tendencies of love and romance. Ariel Levitan's low-key rapping ranges from the seductive to the dangerous, like falling asleep next to someone you're in love with only to wake up with them looming over you with a butcher knife.

Sweetness and darkness hung together in equal measure in "Gravedigger." Since its release, a number of remixers have reworked the original, drawing out different elements. Cable's remix of "Gravedigger" emphasized the escapist dancey tendencies of MXMS gothy electronica, a soundtrack for sweating your cares away on a Saturday night after a particularly bleak week.

On this new remix, Phoenix, Arizona's Lana Del Rabies draws out the darker, more dangerous tendencies of "Gravedigger." Whereas Cable's remix threw MXMS' obsessive tendencies over a steady, sturdy techno beat, Lana Del Rabies largely forsakes rhythm altogether. Instead, Levitan's vocals are suffused in a ghostly cloud of echo and reverb, like vengeful spirits during a seance. If Cable's remix of "Gravedigger" is the sound of escaping your problems on the dancefloor, Lana Del Rabies' edit is the sound of endless rumination, of late nights full of intrusive thoughts, where your thoughts are like broken glass, making sleep impossible.

Lana Del Rabies is the perfect choice for such an endeavor, being no stranger to the darkness that love and obsession can bring. It's baked in to the project's premise, being producer Sam An's commentary on a particularly feminine take on melancholy and lovesickness. Lana Del Rabies has been using the techniques of experimental electronic music and noise to comment on the darkness lurking behind pop music, much like her namesake. Those skills are put to good use here on her rework of "Gravedigger".

So however you may feel about heartache, there's a version of "Gravedigger" for you. We Are: The Guard encourage you to put this on your next jilted romantic mixtape when you're feeling cynical and jaded. 


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.